There are days in even the most enjoyable jobs that we think about resigning. In fact if you’re searching for a job right now, hopefully it won’t be too long before you’re faced with this very task and how you do it is really important. It may be that when push comes to shove, you’re sad to leave your job. Or maybe you’ve dreamt about storming into your boss’s office and telling him where to put his job; but if this is your train of thought, we’d recommend you think again. Although you mightn’t think it possible right now, it is perfectly feasible that your path will cross your boss’s and maybe even his (or her) boss’s again and (apart from your own self respect of course) this is a great reason to resign with respect.
Here are a few pointers to help you resign with respect:
Pick your time carefully and make sure your boss is the first to know
One of the most important things about resigning is that your boss should hear the news before all your colleagues. Choose the right time to speak to him (or her) face-to-face and do all you can to make sure they are the first to know. Nothing is worse than being faced with a disappointed boss who tells you that he already knew you were planning to resign because he heard the chat round the water fountain! If for no other reason, don’t forget that you rely on positive input from your boss to get off on the right foot in your new position; so it’s well worth doing it properly.
Only provide the information you want them to know
When you tell your boss that you’re leaving, you should be prepared, direct and polite. Remember that you don’t necessarily need to give any more information than the fact that you’re resigning at this point, but make sure you do that task professionally. Even if you’re happy to say where you’re going and why you’re leaving, it’s important to remember that the day you resign isn’t the day to declare war on colleagues or over work practices.
Give appropriate notice and confirm your decision in writing
When you resign, it’s a timely moment to confirm your intention in writing. It may be that you will later need to send your letter by email, but backing up your resignation with a printed letter is professional and good practice. In your letter, you should state when you plan to leave and thank your employer for the experience you’ve had with them.
Be ready for an offer
While it’s rarely a good idea to resign in the hope of receiving a counter-offer from your current employer, this does happen. If your mind is fully made up, then a counter-offer probably won’t sway you, but if your decision isn’t 100% final, you need to listen carefully to what is being offered so you don’t close any doors that you later wish you’d left open.
Make handover stress free
When time comes to handover to your successor, you may or may not be present or involved. Either way, the easier and more stress-free you can make that handover, the better it’ll be for your employer and for your reputation. If there are things that only you know about, make a point of leaving detailed notes and if there are loose ends; tie them up as best you can.
Part on the best terms that you can
While you mightn’t feel like spending an evening over a meal and a bottle of wine with your colleagues, if they ask you to do so, or if you feel as if you should, it’s important to make the effort.
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